North Melbourne senior coach Alastair Clarkson has praised his side's resilience after breaking through to beat Gold Coast by four points in a thriller at Marvel Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

It was North's first win in Melbourne since Round 1 of last season, its second this season, and comes after several weeks of improving form.

"We've put in a lot of hard work over a long, long period of time, and for a fair period of the first half of the year it wasn't looking like we were making too much ground," Clarkson said.


"But a bit of belief ... we were able to knock them (Suns) off at a time when they're playing some really good footy, so that's really pleasing for us."

A feature of the win was the eagerness of the Roos' players to take it up to the Suns, and any physical confrontation was cause for a push-and-shove - and it worked.

Gold Coast lacked fluency and North stymied its run out of defence.

Asked if it was deliberate, or just the result of a young side finding its feet, Clarkson replied "a combination of both".

"If you're not applying pressure from the back end (on) those over-the-top handballs, then they'll just slice through you," he said.

"We weren't perfect in that space, but that's what had us in a lot of the contests and made Gold Coast rush a fair bit."

Clarkson said he was thrilled for the Kangaroos' long-suffering fans.

"I'm just pleased they're able to be here (for) some of these little milestones along the way," Clarkson said.

"They can say they were there the day when it looked like the Kangaroos are starting to turn the corner ... that's five games in a row when we've been right in the contest."

North had its first win of the season in Round 15 against West Coast, and the combined margin of its three losses since has been 21 points.

While the Kangaroos will start rank outsiders next week against top side Sydney away, Clarkson said they will go into the game "with just a little more spring in our step".

KANGAROOS v SUNS Full match coverage and stats

Kangas star Luke Davies-Uniacke had a lot of spring in his step when he went so close to a NAB Goal of the Year contender in the final term.

"His last quarter was superb and it's just a real shame he didn't snag that goal - it would have gone down in the archives as one of the greatest goals of all time," Clarkson said.

Young gun Harry Sheezel capped his mighty game with a crucial handball intercept in the last minute.

Nick Larkey kicked three goals, one of them after Colby McKercher had a scything run down the outer wing and found the key forward with a pass.


Bound with us and become a Roos member in 2024